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Certain Islands: A Personal Selection David Divine

Certain Islands: A Personal Selection - David Divine

London: Macdonald, 1972, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Good Dust Wrapper. A little wear to the edges of the dust wrapper, nicked at the top corner of the lower panel and age-toned at the spine.

Includes: Black & white photographs; Colour photographs; Maps;

From the cover: “The primary quality of an island is independence. However close it may lie to a continental coast it always retains an individuality.

The islands in this book have been chosen for their special characteristics — islands of discovery and of war, of refuge and terror, of pirates and of gods.

Even amongst themselves they are in contrast so that some have an aura of triumph and some of intolerable disaster. The island of Krakatoa exploded and the echo of it was heard across the width of the Indian Ocean. The island of Delos has an atmosphere of ineffable peace and was once the fulcrum of the world of Greece. The island of Lindisfarne saw the opening of the Norman Rage — and saved for our age a book that is precious to the world. Paris is an island and so is New York. Cocos Keeling sheltered for a little the most gorgeous bawdry of the oceans. Vinland exists on a map that depends for its authenticity on worm holes, and Haiti would have been happier if it had never been drawn on a map at all.

Once upon a quieter time islands had also the exceptional virtue of inaccessibility. One could collect them with an indefensible superiority as an expert in porcelain collects pieces to infuriate his fellow experts. Today most of them are at the end of an airstrip. The Canaries that were the limit of the Western World are a cross-roads, Cocos Keeling is a way-station on the route to Australia, and Malta fought its last war largely in the air above its cliffs.

The miraculous thing about them is that even in the twentieth century, and despite all these things, they retain their, inviolable identities.”


Jacket designed by Graham Marshall. Size: 8¾" x 5¾". Black boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. 214 pages.
£10.50
Certain Islands: A Personal Selection David Divine